The good ol’ days were frightening

I know it seems like I’m starting this out with a digression, but I promise it’s related: Recently someone suggested a girls’ night out to me, and asked me what I’d like to go do, and I had to explain that it has been SO LONG since I left the house purely for fun and without my children, I could probably go sit at Taco Bell and watch people consume their not-beef tacos and find that totally entertaining. (Oddly enough, I haven’t heard back since I shared that little tidbit. Huh.)

The thing of it is, I’m kind of a homebody, and most of the time I’m very easily entertained. I watch a lot of television. Probably too much television, quite honestly, but I find it soothing and mindless and a good way to unwind after a day of working and child-wrangling.

Okay. All of that is preface to explaining that ZOMG THE ROKU IS THE BEST THING EVER. I was already dangerously dependent on the television before we got the Roku, but now, man, NETFLIX STREAMING. Our typical Netflix M.O. is to receive a disc in the mail and then bicker over WHO put THAT in the queue, and then we leave the disc sitting next to the television for four months before we finally concede defeat and send it back in for the next disc we won’t watch. But we use the live streaming all the time. Which means we are simultaneously reliving our glory days AND finally catching up on modern pop culture.

For example: Right now Otto and I are working our way through Arrested Development, which I have to confess I had never seen before we started doing this. It’s not only completely ridiculous and a great way to unwind in the evening, there are about seven zillion episodes and they’re all right there on the Roku! Brilliant!

Another example: The kids really enjoyed it when I forced allowed them to watch Labryinth with me, even when I told them I used to have a huge crush on David Bowie. (Chickadee did tell me that was “kind of creepy,” and she wasn’t wrong.)

But, see, sometimes it all goes wrong. Sometimes the memory plays tricks on you, you know? Especially when you’re old, like Otto and I are.

Right after Monkey had his surgery, Chickadee was off with her dad and Otto gleefully announced that he’d found Time Bandits available for livestreaming, so he’d added it to the Roku. “Remember that?” Otto said to me. “I loved that movie! ‘So THAT’s what an invisible barrier looks like!’”

We laughed and I agreed that I, too, had fond memories of Time Bandits. We figured Monkey would enjoy it, and it’s always a little treat for him to get to see something his sister doesn’t.

Well.

It’s true that I remember seeing that movie when I was a kid, and also true that I was ready for the special effects to be kind of craptastic, because that’s just the way it is when you’re watching a movie from 1981 thirty years later. (Related: Hi! I’m old!) So we all cuddled up on the couch and prepared to enjoy a “great old movie.”

Have you seen Time Bandits? I mean, recently? The parents in this movie are HORRIFYING, and even though (spoiler alert!) they’re burned to a crisp at the end, which in theory should be sort of gratifying, right after they’re incinerated, the firemen get in their trucks and drive away and leave our 8ish-year-old protagonist standing amidst the rubble of his house ALL ALONE. And then… roll credits!

“What’s going to happen to him now?” asked Monkey, in a small voice.

Good question! Hey, who wants some ice cream and to NEVER EVER SPEAK OF THIS MOVIE AGAIN? Meeeeeeeeeeeee!

Last night we decided to watch Big because, c’mon, that’s a classic. Tom Hanks! Little kid turned adult hijinks! Awesome!

Two problems with this: First, I sometimes forget that movies rated PG from the time before PG-13 was an option are actually not entirely appropriate for children. There’s some profanity in Big, which wasn’t a huge deal, but oops.

Second, somehow I forgot that our protagonist—a 13-year-old transformed overnight into an adult—actually (spoiler alert!) has sex with his girlfriend. (All I’d remembered was the first night she sleeps over, and they sleep in his bunkbeds. Hilarious! And not sex!)

So there’s a scene where said girlfriend starts disrobing, and Tom Hanks’ eyes get real big and he reaches out and puts a hand on her skimpy-bra-covered breast.

And then Monkey began making retching noises. So I covered his eyes, because I’m an awesome parent. Problem solved!

He’s supposed to be THIRTEEN! I have a kid who’s (nearly) thirteen! ACK! AAAAAAAACK!

And then, of course, at the end of the movie he changes back and walks into his house and… everything is fine again. His absence of six weeks (or maybe more) is… forgiven? Never spoken of again? And we’re supposed to believe that even though he was living in the big city and screwing with abandon it’s no big deal that he’s back to being a kid again? WHAT THE HELL??

Why were all of these movies so much better and less horrifying back in the day?

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61 Responses to “The good ol’ days were frightening”

  1. 1
    MomQueenBee January 29, 2011 at 12:14 pm #

    Husband and I forced the Boys to watch “Blazing Saddles” with us because they were teenagers and we had watched it in college, and it was hi-LAR-ious hijinks, and guess what? It’s much more hilarious in retrospect. Kind of like fart jokes once they’re no longer 7. Oh, wait. They’re now in their 20s and it turns out fart jokes never get less fun.

  2. 2
    All Adither January 29, 2011 at 12:14 pm #

    I’m a tv ignoramus. I actually feel guilty for not watching more tv because I just don’t know what’s going on. But I do fondly remember Friends.

  3. 3
    paige January 29, 2011 at 12:26 pm #

    Santa brought us a Roku this year. Mainly to feed Mommy’s streaming habit. Santa is smart. We go through so many streaming movies and tv shows that I’m considering punting the satellite service when the contract is up. Especially with the upgrades that Hulu’s got on the horizon.

    As for the old movies….yeah. I’ll just say: “Airplane” and “Blazing Saddles”. I’m not sure who was more scarred, me or the kids. Now that I’ve got two teens (16 and 19), the idea of inappropriate is quite different. When the 10 yo is in bed, and we ask the teens what they want to watch, the conversation centers around how embarrassing it is to be in the room with your parents while fictional people have sex on the television. Especially when your parents tend to critique the scene for realism. In front of the teens.

    Gotta say, that’s led to some of the best entertainment EVAR, for me. Honestly. (evil chuckle)

  4. 4
    Mom101 January 29, 2011 at 12:41 pm #

    Don’t ask me these questions. I saw animal house in the theater with my dad when I was 10.

    I couldn’t figure out why it was such a big deal that the frat boy realized his girlfriend was only 13. That was like…old.

  5. 5
    Little Bird January 29, 2011 at 12:55 pm #

    Look at some of the themes to Disney movies. Snow White’s step mother tries to KILL her basically, Cinderella’s step mother and step sisters treat her like dirt, and Bell is held hostage by a beast during which time she develops Stockholm Syndrome.
    What, bitter? Me?

  6. 6
    Charlene January 29, 2011 at 1:01 pm #

    You had the same reaction to “Big” now that I did when it first came out. I loved most of the movie, but I thought the sex was so very icky. And I’m thinking I was in high school at the time.

    As for “Arrested Development”, I love that show, and I was so sad when it was cancelled. I have all three seasons on DVD and have to have a marathon weekend at least once a year.

  7. 7
    meghann January 29, 2011 at 1:38 pm #

    paige-critiquing the sex scenes for realism in front of your teenagers? Sheer BRILLIANCE.

    My parents were very, um, liberal with movies. I saw “Poltergeist” when I was five. I actually remember it, vividly, and consider it a turning point in my childhood. When I was 16, my mom showed me “Porky’s”. PORKY’S. At 30, I still don’t think I’m old enough to watch that movie.

    We’ve made a few mistakes with the kids. Forgot about the cussing in “Back to the Future”. Also made the “Airplane” mistake as someone above. I’m blanking on it now, but there was some other 80′s “PG” movie that we watched, and it got so bad we actually turned it off.

    I did want to throw out that I think the rating system today is still jacked up. I just saw “The King’s Speech” (it was wonderful!) and I’ll eat my own foot if anyone else out there really thinks it deserves to be rated R.

  8. 8
    Wendy Sparrow January 29, 2011 at 1:56 pm #

    LOL. I had the same reaction to Big actually when I saw it as a teenager so I must have been old before my time. I just kept thinking how weird it must have been to go back to being a kid… after having sex and holding down a job. Weird… weird… weird… and possibly a little bit wrong.

  9. 9
    JaeElle January 29, 2011 at 2:11 pm #

    I’m in the same boat as Charlene. I was a teen when Big came out (I’m old, too) and found it more than a little disturbing even then that this man-child has sex with an adult. And then goes back to being a kid, la la la.

  10. 10
    tuney January 29, 2011 at 2:11 pm #

    My parents took me to see The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas in the theater when I was 14… the Burt Reynolds/Dolly Parton version. A classmate’s parents had the same idea (a boy I liked, no less), and we were laughing and giggling before the movie. AFTER, we wouldn’t even look in each other’s direction. Our parents got quite a kick out of us, fer shur.

    Me; “Is that…are they… ?” Them: “*snicker* Yup.”

  11. 11
    Lucinda January 29, 2011 at 2:54 pm #

    We stream Netflix through our wii and I love it. So much so that I nearly bought a Roku for my bedroom at Christmas because I’m such a tv slut. And I don’t go out much. BUT, I laughed because I watched Labyrinth with my daughter too and I totally had a crush on David Bowie! lol And yes, we watched Short Circuit with the kids and had the language issue too. Ooops. But I still loves me that live streaming.

  12. 12
    suzie January 29, 2011 at 3:34 pm #

    I am definitely on the liberal side when it comes to movies (we watched Big and Time Bandits, both, years ago … and my youngest is your Chickadee’s age).

    So I’m only commenting to say that David Bowie was soooo hot in Labrynth. I could watch that movie all day.

  13. 13
    Tenessa January 29, 2011 at 4:03 pm #

    We dropped cable almost four years ago and after about two years we got an AppleTV. Now we have Netflix streaming on our PS3 and we tried out HuluPlus (waste of money). I like that we can have our cake and eat it too (tv w/out commercials! hours upon hours of SILENCE, which for those of us with sensory issues is fabulous!)

    We had the issue with 80′s PG rating with Ghostbusters. A movie I have never seen all of (yes, my parents were VERY strict about what I could/couldn’t watch), but Hubs assured me that it was fine for the kids. I walk through the room where it is airing one fine afternoon to find one of the Ghostbusters in the midst of some crazy oral sex fantasy… Yeah, how does one explain to one’s kids WHY they suddenly cannot watch a movie they have previously seen all of multiple times without drawing attention to the actual reason without outright lying?

  14. 14
    Kathy January 29, 2011 at 4:05 pm #

    So funny! That happens to me all the time with my own Chick and BOOKS! Oh yes … I loved this book! … oops, except for THAT part! Crap! Nowadays she just smiles at me and says “It’s okay, mom. I know that’s not okay!!” Oh thank goodness! She understands her mom’s not perfect and she shouldn’t do all the things she reads in books! Maybe I am doing SOMETHING right!! LOL!!

  15. 15
    ramblin red January 29, 2011 at 4:12 pm #

    LOL…yup….

    Not familiar with Time Bandits, but loved Big, Grease, Ghostbusters (wow, had forgotten how sexually charged and actually scary that one was for kids), etc. when I was a kid.

    When I first watched Grease with adult eyes – I was mortified that I’d grown up watching it and my parents never blinked an eye!!!

    Had to google what a Roku was (b/c I am all sorts of hip and trendy, eh) – we have an xbox360 that does the streaming for us, and I LOVE it. Also love the HDMI cable from our tv to the laptop when netflix doesn’t have what we want and the network website or Hulu does. Cable, and most satellite carriers, are quickly becoming obsolete with these options!

  16. 16
    Megan January 29, 2011 at 4:33 pm #

    I wasn’t allowed to watch television when I was a kid, and movies were (per my mother) WAY too expensive and Only For Special Occasions which means that until I was fifteen I had seen a grand total of 5 movies in the theatre. Five. Also our bookshelves were stocked entirely with books that were a) written before 1950 and b) British. Yah. Bit difficult to relate to peers when they want to talk Judy Bloom and I can only counter with Enid Blyton.

    Um. None of which is related to this post at all, I just realized! Yay Netflix! I get it on my iPad, and through my PS3 and it is a glorious thing. Particularly for someone like me who cannot for the life of her remember to keep putting things on the darn queue.

  17. 17
    kathy January 29, 2011 at 4:33 pm #

    My grandmother took me to “Diary of a Mad Housewife” once. She took me out pretty quickly into the beginning of it. My folks to all 6 of us to “Godfather” at the drive in. We were supposed to be sleeping. Right. :)

  18. 18
    elz January 29, 2011 at 4:54 pm #

    I thought the same thing about Big a few years ago. The sex and what not. Definitely not a kid movie.

  19. 19
    Kerri January 29, 2011 at 5:03 pm #

    I also did not know what a Roku was. We get our Netflix streaming through our DVD player.
    Once we thought it would be a good idea to watch “Christmas Vacation” with the kids, because it was so hilarious, and then about five minutes into it, realized it was TOTALLY inappropriate for them.
    Apparently hindsight for movies needs reader glasses.

  20. 20
    EmmaC January 29, 2011 at 5:30 pm #

    Arrested Development is totally the cornerstone of my husband’s and my marriage. Lines from that show are so completely integrated into our couple-language that it gets a little scary sometimes (though hilarious for us, of course).

    And also, yeah, those shows we watched as kids really DID have sinister undertones didn’t they? Willy Wonka? Helloooo? What’s going on in that tunnel? And what happened to VIOLET? Labyrinth was another scary-awesome movie, as was every other movie with Jim Henson’s muppets in them.

    In any case, glad you’re getting some laughs in, Mir. :)

  21. 21
    My Kids Mom January 29, 2011 at 5:30 pm #

    We’ve got plans to see Big w/ 6 & 9 yo’s. May have to rethink that idea.

    My DH had the great idea to watch the Three Stooges a few years back. “Mama, why do they laugh when the guy gets a boo boo?” Something about a piano falling on your head being funny was hard to explain. Bad idea that one.

    But, old movie suggestion: the old Erol Flynn in Robin Hood. Lots of action, no blood or guts. The main result was that all my coat hangers ended up as bow and arrows.

  22. 22
    joshilyn January 29, 2011 at 5:40 pm #

    I KNOW WHAT HAPPENS!! TELL MONKEY! He has the polaroid of the MAP. And he is going to go back in time and live with that father-figure dood who was cool and loved him….is it Sean Connery? AND HE WILL HAVE A GREAT LIFE!

    Also, I LOVE arrested development.

    If you are looking for another show with that same kind fo humor as ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT (which I adore) you can try BETTER OFF TED. LOVE it.

  23. 23
    Emily January 29, 2011 at 6:01 pm #

    I had the same horrified reaction when we got Ghostbusters for our kids. WOW…Sigourney Weaver heaving around on her bed, not to mention the crazy language. PG? Really?

  24. 24
    Mary January 29, 2011 at 6:04 pm #

    Goonies……pretty much the same story. My kids loved it as children and couldn’t wait to share with their own kids. Ooooops..

    of course I had to listen to “Mommmm..how could you have let us watch that when we were little”. Oh yeah, even thirty-somethings still whine at their mothers…

  25. 25
    JMH January 29, 2011 at 6:10 pm #

    Ditto on Ghostbusters!! My son got that movie for Christmas…he is 6…and OMG!!! He kept asking “Why are they smoking? That will kill them; it is so gross!” LOL….

  26. 26
    Anna January 29, 2011 at 6:35 pm #

    “The Pirate” with Judy Garland. Sitting on my kitchen counter. Yep.

  27. 27
    Alison January 29, 2011 at 7:18 pm #

    worst movie ever, in my opinion, Babe: A Pig in the City. Most Deceptive Sequel Ever! I did not find it to be kinda cute and kinda sweet like the original.

  28. 28
    diane January 29, 2011 at 7:29 pm #

    Woo boy, I am glad you posted that warning about Big because I DO NOT remember that AT ALL! (I do, like you, remember the sleepover bunk beds)
    I got my first look at penis when my little friend Emily and I snuck a view at Porky’s while her parents were at the store. I think I will keep my movies under lock and key with the booze when I have children.

  29. 29
    Monique January 29, 2011 at 7:51 pm #

    @ Little Bird, LMBO! Best comment, hands down.

    *sigh*

    I was born in ’83, soooo, basically I haven’t really seen any of these movies expect Goonies. Now, I’m off before Mir yells at me to get off her lawn and to add some of these to my Netflix live streaming.

  30. 30
    Annette January 29, 2011 at 7:54 pm #

    Mir, you are going to have to share an adult must see list and a kid must see list.
    I have had the same experiences with the kids, and I aimlessly scan the movies for myself not having a clue.

  31. 31
    Karate Mom January 29, 2011 at 8:04 pm #

    Wow, I’m glad to hear about the Ghostbusters thing because we’d considered streaming that for our kids! Guess we’ll pass on it.

  32. 32
    Passionista January 29, 2011 at 8:15 pm #

    Thanks for posting this. I found you because I was searching for Roku reviews. Trying to see whether I should purchase this Netflix Magic Box. :-)

  33. 33
    The Mommy Therapy January 29, 2011 at 8:16 pm #

    Our memory of the innocence of all these movies cracks me up. Maybe we were just blissfully unaware as kids? I think I’ll see how long I can keep my kids purely addicted to Curious George and Diego.

  34. 34
    Flea January 29, 2011 at 8:26 pm #

    We watched Time Bandits with the kids this last summer. I thought it was dumb, but my teens loved it (the youngest is 13). But yeah – Big freaked the kids out. And don’t even THINK about watching Back to the Future or Indiana Jones with the kids! Or ESPECIALLY Ferris Bueller’s Day off! Honestly. That one uses the F word more than anything I’ve seen in a long time. Gah.

    Now get off my lawn! And go brush your teeth! Put a sweater on while you’re at it!

  35. 35
    Chana January 29, 2011 at 8:52 pm #

    So, I’m kind of curious, if you all think these aren’t appropriate (I’d probably definitely agree), and you all saw them as kids, do you think you got harmed in some way? Or do you think the world had changed in some way so that its more inappropriate now than it was then? My parents took us to HAIR when we were little. It had some nudity and definitely some adult language. We totally didn’t get the themes (that is they went over our heads), and we liked the music. I don’t think we were harmed by it. I do remember being scared by some movies (Ghostbusters/Indiana Jones) and now I don’t even like to see anything remotely scary/dramatic because I can’t get it out of my head afterwards. Is it because I saw certain movies too early?

  36. 36
    mamaspeak January 29, 2011 at 9:47 pm #

    Chana–I was kinda thinking the same thing. I remember the scene from Big, and I forget how old I was when I saw it, but I’m think 8th grade, and thinking the whole sex thing was kinda gross. How was that OK if he was 13? And how was he supposed to just go back to being a kid now, like nothing?!? I assumed he was going to be all messed up & turned to drugs. I’m an optimist like that.

    I don’t think we were “harmed” by seeing the movies, I think we just heard/saw more the things that fall under “adult related”. And we missed a lot too, as it went over our heads.

    I noted to my husband that our kids don’t know what doorbell ditch is, because they’re never left to their own devices outside. Also, they don’t TP each other’s house like we used to do. (I’m not sad they’re missing out on egging & shaving cream tho, that can ruin things. Not that I would know.) There’s always an adult watching them, so there’s a whole level of mischief they never get into. I do wonder about this generation in that respect. I wonder if they’ll have a normal sense of prank vs. something that is true vandalism. Also, I think it’s kinda sad they aren’t hitting these kinds of milestones and coming up with new ones on their own. (I’m sure CPS is going to come revoke my mom card pretty quick here.)

  37. 37
    eileen January 29, 2011 at 10:37 pm #

    a few years back we thought “Grease” would be a great theme for our 4-H summer camp (150 co-ed kids aged 9 – 18). planned the whole week around “Grease”,games, skits, campfires, patries, t-shirts, etc. Oh and on Movie Night we showed “Grease”. Ya, one by one the adult chaperones stared looking at each other with hands and shoulders up, especially during the whole “pregancy/abortion” scare. we all kind of “forgot” about that part. well it did seem like a good idea at the time. luckily there was no fallout. oh those summer nights!

  38. 38
    Wendy January 29, 2011 at 11:14 pm #

    Not sure if anyone remembers the Movie “Heathers”. I remember seeing it as a teen, but only remember parts of it. Well, I am a Girl Scout leader and this movie was recommended to show to teen girls as they are working on a journey. Well, thank goodness I watched it prior to showing to them. IT WAS AWFUL. I can’t believe I watched that show as a young teen. Goes to show that my parents weren’t too watchful of what we watched. Language was horrible, and they murder one of the girls by making her drink Drano in the beginning. needless to say I notified GS that this was NOT an appropriate movie for any age of Girl Scouts. Oh, and another one is “Camp Beverly Hills.” We showed that one at a movie night for all ages. Didn’t realize the swearing, smoking, and sexual inuendo in that one either. Totally different perspective when you are showing it to kids.

  39. 39
    heather January 29, 2011 at 11:51 pm #

    Ha! I’ve been through this too. I caught Teen Wolf the other day and could not believe how bad it was. Yikes! I always check http://WWW.kids-in-mind.com for reviews before we watch….it tells exactly what goes on. I am cautious now, as my girls on only 7, 6 and 4, browse as hey get older I will likely give more freedom. However, anything iffy will be watched with me and/or dad, so we can usethose not so great moments as teaching moments. I am always surprised by the movies I saw as a kid…but I turned out fine….thanks to great parents who made their morals and beliefs very clear.:)

  40. 40
    Pascale January 29, 2011 at 11:52 pm #

    I’m with Chana. Somehow we grew up pretty balanced despite seeing all those movies we now may think have much more “adult” content than we remember. I guess we just let that go in one ear (or eye) and out the other back then. I’ll bet our kids do the same.

  41. 41
    Brigitte January 30, 2011 at 7:29 am #

    Imdb.com has a “parent’s Guide” section for many movies now, too.

    I still LOVE Time Bandits, but that’s because I tack on an imaginary ending where the Sean Connery fireman (who looks exactly like the Sean Connery father figure king) immediately comes back and adopts the kid.

    Yeah, I’m the mom who thought it would be nice to let my 2-year-old see “Gremlins”, forgetting how they kill an old lady and get variously blendered, chopped, dissolved . . . and she loved it and wanted to see it over and over. I think she’d actually be more freaked now at 6-years-old, now that she’d have some idea what she’s looking at.

  42. 42
    Loth January 30, 2011 at 10:42 am #

    Second vote for the IMDB parents’ guide section – it narrates in detail the bits parents may (or may not) be concerned about. Very helpful when you can’t actually remember the film in sufficient detail to figure out whether it is okay or not.

  43. 43
    Sara January 30, 2011 at 10:55 am #

    I babysit for a little girl who LOVES horses. It has been snowy, icy, rainy, gross for weeks now (but it was 50 on Friday, so um…global warming). Anyway, we went to the library and I wanted to rent her National Velvet. All I remembered is that it has horses. We got home, I put it in, and I hear “Sasa – is it tubby time?” Now – translation of tubby time is we only take off all our clothes for tubby time. Hmmm….I go in and there are full on naked people on the screen. I unplugged the TV and later realized the librarian gave us Blue Velvet instead of National Velvet. It is NOT G-rated. I had to tell the parents, they thought it was hilarious, but I’m still sort of mortified that I rented what is basically soft core porn for a 4-year-old. Oy!

  44. 44
    Randi January 30, 2011 at 12:08 pm #

    LOVE Labyrinth!! If you want CLASSIC and a movie that is truly made for kids, and adults love to, cue up The Princess Bride. SERIOUSLY! you’ll thank me, I promise you :)

  45. 45
    Rebekah January 30, 2011 at 1:03 pm #

    We canceled our cable about six months ago and I went around saying “Oh, we don’t HAVE cable” in an NPR-ish way for awhile so that we sounded all erudite and stuff (when, in fact, we canceled it for financial reasons and because there is absolutely nothing on anymore – except Survivor and Top Chef and The Office).

    The thing I DIDN’T say in my snotty NPR-ish way is that we just watch TV now through Netflix streaming. Arrested Development is one of my all-time favorite shows – such a bummer that it was canceled after three seasons. We also raced through Six Feet Under (awesome show!) and Weeds and Breaking Bad. Yeah, I’m a big phony and I watch a lot of TV even though “I don’t HAVE cable,”

  46. 46
    Steph January 30, 2011 at 2:54 pm #

    The Dark Crystal. Same thing…loved it before, totally creepy now!

  47. 47
    Lori N January 30, 2011 at 2:57 pm #

    My husband & I have this type of conversation all the time — there are a ton of movies we’d love to show the kids, but then we do a bit of research (or pre-watch it, or — lets be honest are sitting there watching it with them) and realize that we’d totally forgotten about X or Y and OMG how did we forget about Z!

    One that I thought FOR SURE would be inappropriate was Bill & Ted’s Excellent adventure. Nope — we didn’t have any problems with it & the kids loved it. There is a special sort of pleasure in having your 6 & 10 year olds saying “Party On Dude!” when they see Abe Lincoln in the Hall of Presidents at Disney World. :)

    Lately they’ve been watching Home Alone & Home Alone 2. We did go through the plot with my son because at 6.5 it’s his worst nightmare to be left alone & we also wanted to emphasize that the stunts were all just that — stunts! Apparently, 6.5 is the perfect time to introduce slapstick. I’ve never seen him laugh so hard.

  48. 48
    Kirsty January 30, 2011 at 4:31 pm #

    I’m pretty sure all these films didn’t harm us BECAUSE WE DIDN’T UNDERSTAND the parts that freak us out now… I know I saw Grease when I was 8 and LOVED IT but certainly didn’t pick up any details whatsoever about the Rizzo/Kenickie pregnancy scare; I just loved the costumes and the music and the singing and the dancing…
    My two daughters (aged just 9 and almost 7) are currently watching Glee episodes more or less compulsively. And yeah, there’s a lot of inappropriate stuff in there (I should mention their first language is French so they don’t pick up a lot of the dialogue) but they just seem to ignore it; they’ve understood that Quinn is going to have a baby, but haven’t asked how she got pregnant (they didn’t understand the “Finn in the hot tub” part at all), or how she knows who’s the father; they don’t ask about why Kurt “loves” Finn… They just want to see the music and dancing. I am planning on perhaps “hiding” the last episode of series one – I’m not sure they’re ready to SEE (as opposed to hear) something inappropriate (Quinn giving birth) – all the sex is more or less covert but the birth scene is pretty graphic… But really, I don’t think there’s any need to worry about kids being scarred by this type of thing, it’s pretty harmless. I’m more concerned about excessive VISUAL violence… Swearing, sex, not so much.

  49. 49
    Carmen January 30, 2011 at 5:02 pm #

    Well, I totally didn’t remember all of the innuendo that happens in The Princess Bride. Showed it to my kids and whoops!

    Also, the scenes of “torture” were mildly traumatizing for my kids.

  50. 50
    Damsel January 30, 2011 at 8:52 pm #

    My mom and I had this sort of conversation about the book Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day. I remembered it as being this great and fabulous book from my childhood. I’d recently picked it up for my son and read it to him… and the ending of the thing is awful!! I like a happy ending to a book, but this one just ends with, “Mom says some days are just like that.” Ugh!

  51. 51
    Pats January 31, 2011 at 12:01 am #

    Eh, Mom let us go see Jaws and Tommy back in the day. Without an adult. Both rated PG, and yes, Jaws was scary, but Tommy was pretty horrifying too. (Remember the rock opera with Roger Daltry? Pedophilia, anyone?) My little brother was 8 and I was 12. We kept our mouths shut about how inappropriate they were.

    Mom took me to see Blazing Saddles when I was a teenager. She was not happy with the movie. The farting around the campfire scene was bad enough… but then a guy in the next row in the theater stood up and farted. That was the point where Mom dragged me out of there. I was soooo embarrassed at her “making a scene.” LOL

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    chanster January 31, 2011 at 3:08 am #

    OMG – Tommy! My mother is a huge Who fan and she took me to see Tommy in the theatre when I was 4 – FOUR!!! We had to leave at the Acid Queen scene because I was so freaked out. So whatever inappropriate stuff I expose my own children to, I can’t do any worse than that. Someone mentioned the Goonies – I recently watched that with my 7yo. I had never seen it, but so many people raved about it that I got it. And yes, there was some stuff that made me cringe, but my son didn’t seem to notice at all. He just really enjoyed the pirate-y adventure.

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    mamalang January 31, 2011 at 8:09 am #

    mamaspeak – my 8 year old son tp’d his sisters room this weekend during his sleepover with a friend. I was so proud of him (of course, he had to clean it up.)

    It’s a different time than when we were kids. I know there are uncomfortable scenes in some of those old movies, but compared to what is on tv at 8 at night nowadays? I still consider it tame.

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    Peggy Fry January 31, 2011 at 9:27 am #

    Don’t forget Grease has the song “Greased Lightning” has lyrics about it being a “real p$*##y wagon.” Nice, huh? I’ve never felt the same about it since. Granted, the music is very loud at that point and Travolta kind of mumbles it, but it is there if you listen…. and then the hot dog jumping into the bun behind him when they are at the drive in movie…. that got us laughing out loud in the movie theatre when it came out… annoyed all the little girls to no end.

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    Amy January 31, 2011 at 9:30 am #

    I too have just begun to watch Arrested Development. I’m on Episode 10 in Season 2. And I’m completely addicted. For instance, I watched it for four hours straight on Friday night! And just yesterday I suggested to a friend that she name her baby Maeby.

    Speaking of the ratings of older movies, Grease (one of my favorite movies of all time) is just rated PG and I’ve been watching it since I was like 10. When I watch it now, I’m amazed that my mom let me watch it considering all of the sexual innuendo, smoking, etc. that’s in it.

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    Andrea January 31, 2011 at 10:00 am #

    The original Willy Wonka has that crazy psychedelic trip in the middle that scared the heck out of my younger sister in the movie theater…it is all I can remember whenever I think my 6 year old girls would like to see the candy wonderland Mr Wonka created.

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    jenn January 31, 2011 at 10:20 am #

    I did the same thing with Time Bandits when we got our Netflix streaming set up. We gave up halfway through after my daughter said (for the 5th time) “Why did you like this movie again?”

    It was HORRIBLE. What was I thinking?

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    Shelly in Austin January 31, 2011 at 3:55 pm #

    My parents took me to see “10″ when I was about 13. The most embarrassing part was watching the movie with my parents sitting there! I have never seen it again. Afraid I will find it even more embarrassing now.

    We watched “Christmas Story” with our son when he was 5. No recollection whatsoever of the inappropriate language. I guess we were old enough when we saw it the first time that the language was not inappropriate. The whole “f-word” part had my husband cracking up and hoping the 5 year old wouldn’t get it. He didn’t.

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    lynn January 31, 2011 at 7:04 pm #

    What I thought you were going to say about Big, because this is how it hits me, is that it’s totally different watching it as a parent because now I just feel so bad for the parents whose boy was lost for so many weeks. You know right at the end, where he walks into his house, and you hear his mom shriek his name – THAT’s what tears me up. I hope that if my son gets accidentally turned into a 30 year old, he’ll feel comfortable enough to tell me about it. :-)

    Similarly, what gets me in the Incredibles is when the mom finds out that her older two kids left the baby home with a friend, and her frantic listening to her phone messages. Actually, the Incredibles does a really great job balancing supermom’s crime fighting and parental skills.

    There are more examples I can’t think of right now, but watching movies as a parent really changes your perspective!

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    Rebecca February 1, 2011 at 8:32 pm #

    With the exception of The Goonies and The Princess Bride, my kids think all of my favorite childhood movies are lame.

    They kinda were.

    PS – Pretty In Pink was on Nickelodeon this week. I don’t know how to feel about that yet.

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    Cate February 2, 2011 at 9:41 am #

    I don’t remember “Big” being so provocative; I’ll have to give it another view! I do, however, remember the sexiness of David Bowie in Labryinth. Now that’s a movie that can withstand the test of time!

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